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CFOs bringing greater value to UAE companies
CFOs have to play a key role in planning the future digital strategy of a company, experts said
Chief financial officers (CFOs) across the UAE and the GCC region can bring more value to their organisations when they are part of a cultural and digital transformation that will help them overcome the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, experts said at the New Age Finance & Accounting Summit.
Presented by Khaleej Times, the summit brings together industry leaders from all over the Middle East to discuss and deliberate on financial disruption and innovation.
Paolo LoMonaco, chief financial officer at Chalhoub Group, noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has presented businesses across the region with lots of challenges, including decreasing consumer confidence. What companies should take this opportunity to do is focus on a cultural transformation that will make them more agile and offer better work life balance. Throughout this transformation, the invaluable role of a CFO should not be taken lightly, he said.
"This pandemic has accelerated certain decisions that many companies were hesitating on, such as more flexibility to work from outside," he said. "The pandemic has created much more pressure around digital transformation in particular, and we have seen how e-commerce sales have accelerated. From a finance perspective, there has never been a better opportunity for the finance sector to deliver. I would encourage companies to invest in technology, especially since the price of technology has been decreasing."
Similarly, Basel Omar Abu-Ali, group chief financial officer at Ali & Sons Holding, noted that the role of the CFO is evolving.
"The value of a good CFO can be felt across the organisation," he said. "My advice is to be ready to adapt to different circumstances. Companies that were not prepared and lacked the technologies to adapt to the work from home model, during this pandemic, found themselves in a tight spot. Moving forward, a CFO has to play a key role on planning the future digital strategy of a company."
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